Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Best is Yet to Come

June 16, 2018

Hey, Friends! :)

Oh my goodness! What an incredible week this has been! I am truly humbled have been able to serve He who has given me so much. My time serving the Lord as a full-time missionary has been the most incredible experience of my life. I don’t even know where to begin to explain the gratitude I have for what the Lord has shown me and has done for everyone I have come in contact with. God is so good to His children and I have had a front row seat in seeing the change that comes into people’s lives as they accept and live the gospel of Jesus Christ. God truly loves His children. I know that is certain.

This week has been a week of a lot of hard work, a lot of reflecting, and a lot of miracles. First off, let me tell you about my new and final companion, Elder Bennion! He is awesome! Elder Bennion is from Oregon and has been on his mission for about 8 months. He has had a very interesting mission so far! Elder Bennion was called to serve in Instanbul, Turkey. He was there for about 4 or 5 months until all the missionaries were evacuated due to some political issues! Crazy! So Elder Bennion was sent here to NY! WHOOT! He has been an amazing addition to our companionship. Elder Reynolds and Elder Bennion have been great companions!

Another fun fact about Elder Bennion: he is related to some of my favorite members in Midwood, Valerii and Galina! Valerii is a recent convert and his wife, Galina, was already a member. They are from Russia and I love them so much!

Earlier this week I found out something super amazing! Do you remember Gary from Plainview? He was the first person I taught and baptized on my mission. Well, I just found out that he received the Melchizedek Priesthood last week! I am so happy for him!

So, a couple nights ago I was sitting in my bed reflecting on my mission and talking with the Lord about these past 2 years. As I was pondering, we got a phone call from the elders serving over in Rego Park (my 2nd area). Turns out that they ran into someone on the street who claimed that I gave him a Book of Mormon 2 months ago. His name is Sharif. Initially, I didn’t remember. But I looked up his number in my phone a found a conversation I had had with him over text from the 4th of July last year (when I gave him the Book of Mormon) while I was serving in Rego Park! I was surprised that he remembered me, because we weren’t able to actually teach him. I reached out to him again and it was a really neat experience catching up with how he has liked the Book of Mormon. Sharif is now going to start meeting with the missionaries :) I have no doubt that God Set that one up.

On Thursday, we were invited by our friend at the Halal food cart to come to his mosque to break Ramadan fast with him. Turned out that his mosque was the one right down the street from our chapel! It was really cool to witness and be apart of another religion in action. After we broke Ramadan fast with them, we ate dinner with the 50 or more Member including the mosque Imam (we got sit at the Imam’s table). 

Well, today was my departing temple trip with the Reynolds, tomorrow I will have my departing interview with President Reynolds, and next Tuesday I will be back in Utah. After 2 years of serving the Lord in 5 different areas of NY and with 16 different companions, I have finally become one of the missionaries whose turn it is to go home. I am sad this time has come, but am also optimistic for the future. I am forever grateful for the experiences I have had serving the Lord here in New York. It has been the greatest 2 years of my life so far and I know that there are more great things to come. Over the past couple years I have come to know my Savior and my Father in Heaven. I know they live and I will testify of it every moment of every day. The Lord truly is my light and my Salvation. Our Heavenly Father sent His only Begotten Son to the earth to live and die and live again just so we may have the opportunity to do the same. Jesus is the Christ; He is the way to eternal happiness and exaltation with our God who loves us with everything that He is. If you give your life to the Lord, He will make you into something greater than you ever could have possibly done on your own. 

There is so much more I wish I could say, but I am struggling to find the words for it. I guess overall, my mission has enabled me to know who my God is and I love Him. 

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” 
2 Timothy 4:7

I love you all! I pray for you often. 

Don’t keep the faith, spread it!

Elder Snell

Pictures (I will send my temple trip photos next week)
2) Muslim Mosque down the street from our chapel
3) Super cool picture on the train
1) My super amazing companions! (Elder Bennion & Elder Reynolds) I love them so much!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Bagels. Bagels Are In the Pot at the End of Rainbows

¡Hola, mi Amigos!

So, transfers are tomorrow! Wow! Another 6 weeks already come and gone. Elder Reynolds and I are both staying here in Flushing. Although, we will be getting another companion! So, we will be in a trio for now :) tomorrow we will pick up my 16th companion! I have learned so much from each of my companions and have come to love and and every one of them! I thank God for giving me these wonderful Elders I have been learning from!

Well, I have to keep this one short due to time issues. The issue being that I did not start writing this until 15 minutes before we have to leave..... so....... I will keep this one simple hahaha.

We have been seeing a lot of really neat success in Flushing. I know the Lord has His hand in all of it! I love the people I serve and I love my Father in Heaven :) 

Next week, I have a temple trip, so my Preparation day has been switched to Tuesday the 19th. Hopefully I will be able to send a better email hahaha. 

Love you all! Thanks for being your amazing selves. Keep on smiling! :)

Elder Snell

1-2) Flushing 1st District!
3-5) Super cool pictures I found!!!
6-7) RAINBOW BAGEL!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Baptisms are White and So Am I

June 4, 2018

Hey, Friends!!! :)

This week has been a memorable one! We got to do lots of service to help one of our investigators (who started reading the Book of Mormon YES!!!!), and we saw tons of miracles!

Elder Reynolds and I have been super busy with teaching our investigators we have found over the past few transfers. I have seen so so so many miracles (that would take hours to explain over email) while I have been here in Flushing. I wish I could quickly tell you all of the details of finding and teaching Jessica and Isabella (those are some true miracles), but maybe next time! Or in person haha

Just a quick side note: I never realized how weird it is being one of the only white people here in Flushing until just recently. Sometimes, people will start yelling at us and wanting to start fights just because we are white. It is strange. Hahaha last week, we were crossing the street and a high school age kid comes up to us and stops us to say, “You two are the only white people I have seen for over a month! Way to represent!” Hahahahaha I love New York!

Anyway, I will tell you about Michael this week. When Mike was very young, he was adopted into a Mormon family and grew up going to primary and everything in The Bronx. However, the family went inactive before the time came for Mike to become a member of the Church. A couple of months ago, Mike contacted us through requesting a “Finding Faith in Christ” DVD. Well, we found out that he already had a Mormon background, so we jumped at the opportunity to teach him! Even though Mike was never baptized, he has never lost his testimony since he was taught the gospel as a little kid. It was such an amazing experience to reteach him all of the lessons and watch him grow closer to God. Mike was baptized and confirmed this past weekend and is glowing with enthusiasm for the gospel. He truly is a miracle and will do a lot to bring our branch closer together :) Mike has a special place in my heart, for sure!

I love this gospel and I love being a missionary so much! I have never experienced as much joy in my life as I have serving others and serving God on my mission. 

I love you all and wish you all the best!

Elder Snell :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Missionaries Are the Ultimate Stalkers

Hello Hello!!

So, our Zone has been doing a little spotlight thing over the past transfer. I figured I would just send you the one they did for me. So, I will paste it in right now haha

Elder Caden Snell, 19, Kaysville UT

Tender Mercy? 
A few weeks ago, we were knocking up in Whitestone and felt that we should talk to this woman sitting in her car. We did and she was SO COOL and fairly interested!! We got just her number and set up an appointment. Sadly she had to cancel. Well, a few weeks pass and she hasn't responded to our texts/calls. Just last week, we were knocking in College Point. While we were standing on a doorstep, when suddenly we heard someone call out to us and jokingly say, “Are you stalking me?” The same woman walked up to us from her car! Turned out that we were standing on her doorstep! She hadn't been responding because she broke her phone and it was getting repaired so she didn't have it for a while. God is so good!!! The woman is really excited to meet with us this week! 

“Fav Scripture? D&C 97:8

Throughout my mission I have seen so many lives (including my own) changed for the better. I know that as we live the gospel of Jesus Christ each day, we can have a change of heart and become divine in nature. We truly can “[put] off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord”. This change of heart is what brings us happiness 🙂 🙂

It has been amazing to me to see how willing God is to guide and teach us in our lives. Especially if He is guiding us to bless someone else or be the answer to someone else’s prayer. I love our Heavenly Father with everything I have to offer. I know He lives and He sent His Son for us. Jesus Christ truly is the center of my life and has changed me into a better person. I am so grateful for His sacrifice for us and for the help and strength He gives to each of us to make it through our lives and come out a better and more Christlike person. 

“And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.”

This scripture has never been more true to me in my life! What a blessing to be strengthened and enabled by someone who loves us infinitely enough to sacrifice Himself for us.

I love you all so much! There was a lot more that happened this week, but I will just have to leave it at that 😅

Have the most amazing week ever!

Elder Snell

1-2) Here is the flower I have been growing!! 
3-5) This is one of the English classes the missionaries teach. They asked us to take a picture for them hahahaha I love Flushing so much!!!
6) Our investigator, Jessica, took us out to Lunch before our lesson with her!